Interestingly enough, what I did not count on was the ferocity of the love I felt when she was born. Being a first time parent, I had heard about "mama bear" and "doing anything for my kids" etc., but really that had no serious relevance to me, simply because I had no frame of reference for those kinds of feelings. Waves of that feeling washed over me once she arrived, but they reached a (then) crescendo the day after she was born.
Having sent my husband home for a shower etc., I sent Cecilia to the nursery so that I could have a shower myself. (y'all know that there is not much like the first post-delivery shower. Bliss is not a strong enough word in my opinion). Upon returning to the nursery once I was finished, I realized that she was not where I left her. My first reaction was to question myself, just thinking that maybe I just didn't recognize her amongst the other newborns because she was less than 24 hours old. Once I established that she just wasn't in sight, my second reaction was something like this:
Or something like that.
In my bathrobe, I began pounding on the nursery glass with both fists, whisper-yelling, "WHERE is she?!?!" to the very startled nursery nurses. They instantly sprang into action, and showed me where she was - across the room under the warmer, because she was a little cold. One came out into the hallway to comfort me, and while the details are a little hazy, I'm pretty sure she offered crazy pills. The next nurse wrapped Celi up in a blanket and brought her out so that her nut-case mama could hold her.
This all struck me as quite interesting after I calmed down. This person, whom I had never met up until the day before, inspired a protective and near violent reaction when I could not locate her in less than five seconds. How many people have you been willing to react like for after having known them for less than 24 hours? I'm not sure about you, but my list is way short, like two names long.
In a weird way, I love that about being a parent. That I love someone so much that I have no restraint, no inhibition and definitely no fear holding me back from the many different emotions I have about them. It's just such a raw and unfettered feeling, not hampered by what anyone thinks, or societal norms, or anything that really matters. I've read that being a mother means wearing your heart on the outside of your body for the rest of your life and that's okay with me. Maybe we'd be a little nicer to each other if all our hearts were worn that way.
What about you? Have you ever had feelings about parenting that surprised you?